Idaho politics: Simpson criticizes GOP 'loyalty oath'

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is another Republican with no use for the Republicans' "loyalty oath."

The 12-year congressman, running for a seventh term in November, criticized the oath, approved at the state GOP convention two weeks ago. The oath requires all GOP candidates to endorse the party's platform in full, or publicly state their areas of disagreement.

"I take one oath, and that's to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, period," Simpson told the Statesman editorial board this morning.

During their convention, Republicans also favored language that would urge the state to withhold tax payments to the federal government; language to allow Idahoans to pay taxes in gold and silver; a plank favoring the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters to elect their U.S. senators; and language opposing Simpson's top legislative priority, the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill.

Conventions typically reflect the will of a party's activists, Simpson said, and the GOP gathering was no exception. But he said the GOP platform gives Democratic candidates an opening to criticize Republican opponents, in the same way that Republicans would mine the Democrats' platform.

"You're putting more bullets in the gun with some of the resolutions that were passed," Simpson said.

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Come join the Dems

Come Join the Democrat party - "No Loyalty Oath Required" Cheers

The dems don't have one? Really?

Then why are they constantly attacking Walt for voting his conscience instead of the Pelosi line? Both parties suffer from the oath disease.

Really. They dont. You are

Really. They dont. You are allowed to have a differing opinion. just as Walt Minnick does but still gets support from Far Left Liberals.. The GOP will Ostracize anyone who isnt a fanatical Zealot and doesnt go along with their Tea-bagging principles..

You may be the only democrat who feels this way.

Idaho democrats (other than you, apparently) have been vocal with their anger at Minnick for voting his "differing opinion" on climate change, health care, the stimulus package, and other points of the democratic agenda. Even a casual reader of the Statesman knows that they have done the same thing you are accusing the GOP of doing.

Here is an example: In Sept 09, Popkey wrote a nice article about Minnick's response to the vicious attacks from his own party. It reads in part:

"Minnick ventured to Boise's North End and Blaine County to assuage Democrats who bitterly complain about his opposition to major parts of the Democratic agenda, including health care, climate change and the stimulus."

Read more:

Don't feel. No matter the party you'll have to resign.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

Don't you see a distinction

between constituents legitimately criticizing their elected officials after the fact, and the party requiring written compliance with its platform before they're even elected?

Not a meaningful one

First, Walt was taken to task by his party, not just his constituents as you say. Second, that is different than taking an oath prior to the election, but the difference isn't meaningful. In both cases, the party is trying to control the votes of the official WE elect, trying to take away OUR right to choose someone who isn't in lock step with the party's platform. WE should be able to choose someone who votes like WE want, not just how the party wants.

I'm not really stepping out on a limb here. This type of pressure is part of the fundamental way our party system works: you can't have a party without defining what the party stands for. This happens every day, in every party, at every level, but the GOP have just invented a new way to package the same old stupidity. I just think it is dishonest for dem's to pretend like this doesn't happen in their party as well.

That is why I am a rep. and love Walt. Some days he seems like the only politician in Idaho that has the courage to vote his conscience. Don't we deserve that much from all of our politicians?

PS That's because we suck on those issues, don't feel confused.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

I actually think this is a fair point.

Each party seems to dislike those who actually vote for the benefit of their constituents instead of the party.

Criticism and Loyalty Oaths are Different Things

It is one thing to criticize a fellow party member's views. Even Ronald Reagan did that, despite his contending that one should not criticize a fellow Republican.

It also is one thing to recognize that a party may have factions that differ on points -- social conservatives versus economic conservatives, to cite a current Republican example.

It is something totally different to require, as a condition of running for office as a Republican, that one not only pledge loyalty to the party platform (or say how one disagrees with it), but that one also does not work for any democrat, no matter how noxious the Republican alternative might be. This puts party so far above the good of one's constituents, above the good of Idaho, above the United States, indeed, above one's understanding of the Constitution that it defies reason.

This is all the more significant when, at any given time, one party may take a position because of a small group of activists at a convention and not reflect the views of even the party rank-and-file. The current platform, for example, seeks to take away my right to vote for members of the United States Senate, even if my vote would be for Risch or Crapo. Does anyone seriously believe that this is the view of a majority of Idahoans?

Simpson has sense -- Republicans suffer from Oath Anxiety

Good for Simpson. He is right ... there is only one oath ... support the Constitution of the U.S. Republicans have shot themselves in the foot by declaring war on Idaho citizens who see little value in pledging allegiance to the Republican Party. We have other things that are of more value and worth fighting for in these tough economic times.


As a republic I am very glad to see this, this was one of the stupidest things I had ever seen.


The Dems have these too...they are just smarter obviously because they kept it secret.

The right wing, especially

The right wing, especially the far right (the majority of R's in Idaho IMO) acts more like pre-Nazi Germany all the time. Pretty scary bunch, they're goal is to divide this country. They are not interested in unity at all.

Exactly !

Then they get ticked when we are known for the Aryan Nation.
Gee wonder why they settled on Idaho in the first place? This crap
is beyond politics's it like a radical bunch of Taliban in our
state. I hear on news cast they want federal funds for the floods,
but then they don't want to pay the fed tax dollars when they get
100 more from them then they give them. I just don't get the mind set.
Scary is right and ignorant as any group of idiot's I've ever seen.

divide and conquer.

The ruling elite in Idaho have no reason or incentative to feel the pain, as they are well paid and provided with all that the commoners are fighting for.

Thank you Rep. Simpson

He's right. With that kind of elitist branding, rigid ideology, and eradicating the right of the people to vote, they don't even sound like Americans. They will divide and kill their own party with this craziness if they don't get a grip on reality. We need both parties, and we need them sane.

They don't need to sign the oath til the 2012 primary season

and by then it'll all be forgotten.

Why does this seem disingenuous

This hardly seems true.

Not only did the delegates not pass this resolution so that it could be forgotten, it seems more likely that the cry in 2012 would be "why are you crying about it now, rather than back in 2010 when it was passed?"

The best thing to do always is to speak up!

Loyalty oath

There has been a lot of attention on the Republican Party’s resolution regarding a loyalty oath. As a delegate to the convention, I can assure you that this was not a unanimous decision. There were many delegates, including myself, that did not support this resolution. I am a Republican who has every intention of representing every citizen in District 16, regardless of their affiliations. Of course, that is if I am fortunate enough to be selected by them. Elected officials work for and represent the people, never a party. The only oath I intend on taking is the one taken once elected.
Ralph D. Perez
Republican Candidate
State Representative, District 16 seat A

Unfortunately, you and other mainstream Republicans have lost

control of your party. I'm in District 16. My first question to GOP candidates now will be about their party platform and their intention to move the GOP to being a party that represents most Idahoans, not an extreme minority.

I would be happy to visit

I would be happy to visit with you anytime. I can be reached on my cell at 761-4342
Ralph D. Perez

So, how do you think the GOP should deal with their extreme

right faction? If elected, would you sponsor legislation that reflects any of the resolutions that were passed? If so, which one?

Those of us on the Far Right

will make sure Ralph cannot run as a Republican without signing that pledge. Just want for the 2012 convention. It's already in the works and has been passed in other states.

Best of luck to you

and godspeed.

Ralph, as Minnick will attest, we have room in the Democratic party for conservatives. C'mon over.

what he said!

Ralph, the day of the primary, I was doing GOTV calls for Keith Allred and I got your mom. She was very nice and she's very proud of you! And she still will even if you become a Democrat!

Mental illness untreated, or why we cut funds, to have friends.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

The true far right

What's funny is I'm an independent libertarian by nature who is a pro-limited government advocate ... yet I'm called a far right extremist by all the Dems on this forum. The true far right is that faction of the Republican Party that promotes big government in the form of moral legislation and demands compliance with things like these loyalty oaths. I hope one day the uneducated will wake up and see the difference.

Welcome to the forums. I am

Welcome to the forums. I am a moderate Democrat and the right labels me a liberal as soon as I have an opinion that differs from theirs. That is the way the world of blogs works. Irritating, but I have come to grips with it. The far left drives me as bonkers as the far right. They are all nutty as fruitcakes.

Very Well Put, boise49ers

Exactly. Those on the extreme left advocate for changes that make no sense to anybody else, and usually are as irritating when they speak out.

The more these extremists hog media attention, the more it seems to me that it is only those of us in the middle who are in our Right minds.

I don't care, I'd date a woman regards of politics if she let me

Might be a lot of foolish, lonely men in the country.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

There are at least four kinds of Republicans

You make a good point about another reason why the loyalty oath is looney tunes.

There are at least four different types of Republicans, with variations on each:

(1) Small government libertarians, like yourself or Congressman Ron Paul -- who seek small government generally wherever possible, differing only as to what the necessary services are;

(2) The religious right, who may or may not agree on small government in other areas, but believe their (usually Christian) moral views should be enacted as a matter of law, particularly in areas of social morality;

(3) Economic deregulation advocates, whose principal focus is on letting an unregulated marketplace take the place of government regulation of the economy; and

(4) Big business advocates, who often espouse deregulation but then support regulations of the marketplace and tax policies that support big business at the expense of the citizenry (as in not enforcing laws against hiring illegal aliens, for example.)

I suspect most republicans share some elements of each of these, and the point of political parties is to create a coalition of people with differing views on some of these matters, but it makes no sense for any one group to be able to achieve a majority at a convention and then ram their own particular viewpoints down someone else's throat.


One of the best breakdowns of the GOP identity factions I have seen. I think a point 5) Security Hawk is also in order, something to the effect of always on guard for "terrorism" or threats overseas. Very pro-military.

For kinds of Republican constituencies

First, let's be real about the Republican Party 'base'. Big Business controls the GOP, but they need to get votes to get power. In order to win elections, you have to have people who will vote for you. So, in recent years, the GOP has been pandering to a few very specific constituencies. One of those constituencies is your item number two; the christian fundamentalists.

The fundamentalists have a very narrow agenda; a desire to project their socially 'conservative' world view on our country. The GOP makes promises to them in order to win their votes and dollars. This socially conservative voting bloc used to be the Democrats from the deep South, but, with the signing of the equal rights amendment by Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Republican saw an opportunity. Do a search on the terms 'Southern Strategy' to know more about this change.

Another smaller, but deeply cohesive voting bloc is the so-called 'second amendment' gun lobby. Again, the GOP makes promises to get reliable votes.

In the past, the Republican Party use to be socially moderate, even liberal. They were fiscal hawks (fiscal conservatives), and pro-business, which loosely translated into being 'politically conservative' (politically conservative - meaning a belief in small government, but the old GOP had an agenda driven by the desire for less regulation of business. Less regulation being equated with small government).

Today's Republican party only retains the pro-business agenda of the past.

Irony? A politically conservative agenda (as opposed to a 'socially conservative' agenda), a small government politically conservative agenda would not dream of passing laws that would infringe on individual rights such as abortion rights, gay/lesbian rights, and other 'liberal causes'. Indeed, a small government would not attempt to legislate morality.

Today's Republican Party is what Republican John Dean calls 'proto-fascist'. Study the research on 'authoritarianism' to understand today's GOP. This whole 'party loyalty oath' sounds so Third Reich.

Seven kinds of fruit in Hawaiian Punch though!


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

Uphold the Constitution Simpson?

By voting for bailouts? By promoting the welfare state with your child health care proposals? By supporting unconstitutional federal land grabs? You sir are part of the reason we the delegates had to adopt this measure!

One problem, though

I seriously do not believe that the extremist positions reflected in this year's Republican Party Platform actually reflect viewpoints held by a majority of Idaho citizens.

Several of the planks inserted into the Platform leave me, quite frankly, completely confused. What exactly are they designed to accomplish, and what are they designed to prevent?

Example #1: advocating for the State to withhold federal tax revenues from the IRS. Uh, excuse me, but under the Federal tax code, isn't that an illegal action?

Example #2: Repealing the 17th Amendment accomplishes nothing of value. Besides, what is wrong with we, the voters, choosing the US Senators who will (theoretically) represent our interests in Washington?

Example #3: Restricting marriage to "naturally born" individuals. This opens up so many definitional cans of worms, it is laughable, if not pathetic. If, by 'naturally born" you intend to mean people who were conceived and born in the manner Nature designed, then how does that not rule out everyone who was conceived via In Vitro Fertilization, everyone who wan delivered via c-section, and everyone whose breech birth position was straightened out using externally applied mechanical techniques not designed by nature?

What did you want, CO? You as much as anybody are responsible

and to cry about it now is braindead and obstructive. Cry about what needs to be (like myself also) or do the damm deed.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.


All demanding anything does is get you ignored. As a, whatever the heck I am, this is bottom line one of the stupidest things I've seen. I vote for someone to represent me the way I want him to, not the way any party wants.

Republicans care more about the party

The Loyalty oath just proves that Republicans care more about their party than they do about the country. Could be why they won't regain power anytime soon.

Party before principles

This 'loyalty oath' is a vestige of the Bush years when Tom DeLay ran congress like it was a criminal enterprise; if you didn't play along with their decisions, they would withhold money. Look into what happened to Joel Hefley of Colorado, as truly conservative as they come.

The founding fathers were aware that party politics would compromise the functioning of government, but did not find a solution to the problem.

If I were a Republican, I would be going after this entire 'loyalty oath' issue with hammer and tongs. At no point should 'party loyalty' be held more important that principles. Of course, that's been the rap against the Republican Party in the recent past; politics before principles.

Next meeting the republican

Next meeting the republican militia will be goosestepping and calling Semanko, My Führer. Idaho republicans are noting more the regressive intolerant white trash.

It's to combat RINO's

What's so bad about taking an oath to support a political platform OR stating where you differ with the platform?

I'm a conservative and yes, I vote Republican. I am tired of RINO's like Mr. Simpson who campaign on being conservative and then go to Washington and slowly turn into a Demomocrat of the 60's.

It's fine if you want to do that, but be HONEST about it and don't misrepresnt yourself to the voters!

I can see how this oath thing looks and sounds corny, but how else would you try to control two face candidates (like Mr. Simpson)?

When in a zoo...


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

Really newshound?

Simpson a 60's demomocrat (liberal)?

A) Do you remember the 60s?

B) If you think Simpson is liberal, how do you feel about women getting the vote?

OMG, Simpson a liberal?! Wow, that hurts my brain.

PS If the mother runs the family, that is a demomocratic household.

Simpson's oath

It's about time the representatives we hire start thinking for themselves and about the people who let them live in the lap of luxary, while loosing their homes and trying to find a job or a way to put food on the table, wish our State Rep's would do so also, about time they all started feeling the pain they cause.

Freaks flock together!!!!!!

need anything else be said???????

It's easier to hunt a flock, so to speak.


If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.